In July, the Biden administration reasserted the U.S. recognition of Moroccan’s alleged sovereignty over occupied Western Sahara. Although the United Nations and several other world organizations have been asking the Moroccan authorities to respect the right of the self-determination of the Sahrawi people.
The leading Sahrawi human rights defender Sultana Khaya Informed the world in her article published on CNN that Morocco has been using U.S support as a license to continue the occupation. ” The U.S. position on Western Sahara is legitimizing the illegal occupation and further attacks on Saharawis,” Khaya says. Furthermore, Moroccan brutality is increasing as described by Sultana Khaya “I was beaten, tortured, and abducted by Moroccan police while in nonviolent protests; after a particularly violent assault in 2007, I lost my right eye.”
The world organizations like Amnesty International have been pushing to pressure the occupying Moroccan forces to end the siege of the Sahrawi people, especially Sultana Khaya. Also, U.N. Special rapporteur has released statements about human rights defenders that included details of the assaults and human rights abuses.
Nonetheless, the Moroccan authorities do not seem to be concerned by any pressure, given their tacit approval from the United States. When Amnesty International enquired about the human rights violations of Sultana Khaya and other Sahrawi people, the Moroccan authorities lied through their teeth, dismissing the integrity of any news that Sultana Khaya was under house arrest. Moroccan forces are ruthless against anyone who dares to protest or meet the activists; this is the norm, including Sultana Khaya, who are constantly under siege. According to our sources in Western Sahara, whenever people attempt to film the Moroccan agent’s violence against Saharawis, their behavior would instantly change, pretending to be nonaggressive in front of visible cameras. However, other lenses capture the faced-masked agents regularly beating and sexually assaulting the Sahrawi activists and repeatedly snatch phones from anyone who films them.
Although Saharawi society is conservative and taboo speaking of sexual crimes publicly, Sultana Khaya courageously describes the most demeaning acts used on her family, her and her sister were sexually assaulted during the attacks on her home. “In May’s raid, Moroccan agents sexually assaulted my sister and me — in a brutal message, they forcibly penetrated my sister using the broomstick that we use to wave the Western Sahara flag. “
How could a leader who claims to champion human rights, and the author of the domestic law Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) be silent given the painful cries of the Khayas? is complimenting the Saharawi people for maintaining the peace enough? Why is the U.S. State Department doing NOTHING Despite calls from international communities for intervention?
Khayas is appealing to the Biden administration to pay attention and listen to international bodies, specifically Amnesty International before it is too late. The United States is equally responsible for allowing the horrific ill-treatment against the Saharawi people. By continuation of the former U.S. president’s illegal business deal of recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara is against the United States constitution’s foundation and international law.
Author: Karama Sahara